given the circumstances

You add "given the circumstances" to a sentence when there are problems with something that make it difficult. When you're making a decision about it, you want to consider those problems. So if you're judging how good something was, "given the circumstances" means that you don't want to use a really strict standard for judging it.

For example, if you and your wife are trying to save up money but only one of you works, you can say:

I think we're doing pretty well given the circumstances.

This means that you aren't saving a lot of money, but you are saving a lot for a couple with only one income.

"Given the circumstances" can come at the beginning of a sentence or at the end.

This phrase appears in these lessons: